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Tequila & Mezcal Tasting – Q Life Experience

July 30, 2021

Tequila and mezcal are the national spirits of Mexico. More popular now than ever, they’re also a source of endless fascination. What makes them so appealing? How are they different? What goes into their distillation?

To shed light on this topic, a new Q Life Experience has been created to give club members insights into both spirits.

Before we get into the program format, led by a master of tequila and mezcal, here’s a basic primer about these liquors.

Fact: Tequila is the oldest distilled spirit in North America. It is made from one ingredient: blue Weber agave, typically grown in the highlands of Jalisco. The heart of the plant, called the pina, is steam-cooked or baked for many hours, crushed to produce a juice or juice-pulp mixture, and then fermented and distilled.

Details: If the tequila is to be a blanco (white) version, it is bottled immediately. Blanco tequila is generally used to make the Margarita, Cabo’s most popular cocktail.

Reposado (rested) tequila reposes in oak barrels for up to 12 months; it acquires roundness and a light straw color from its time in wood.

Anejo (aged) tequila spends more time in the barrel (up to three years) to infuse the spirit with a caramel color and a velvety mouthfeel.

Cristalino is anejo tequila that’s been filtered to remove its color. The result is a smooth clear tequila that has the complexity of an anejo and the crisp notes of a blanco.

Fact 2: Mezcal is produced using centuries-old techniques initiated by Spanish conquistadors who distilled the fermented mash made by indigenous cultures. Originally known as aguardiente (blazing water), mezcal can be made from nearly 30 different varieties of agave. No two bottles are alike. Each has its own unique character and flavor profile. Mezcal can vary greatly in taste from one distillery to the next due to differences in rainfall, heat, altitude and the soil composition where the agave is grown.

Details: In more than 1,200 rustic mountain villages in Oaxaca, the state where 70% of mezcal is produced, hearts of agave (usually espadin) are roasted in the earth over a wood fire, crushed by mule-drawn millstones and fermented in small batches. Mezcal, which has a strong smoky aroma and flavor, is generally consumed straight, often with a few orange slices on the side. A favorite saying in Oaxaca is, "Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también." (For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good, as well).

Here’s a few FAQ’s about what to expect at the Q Life Tequila & Mezcal Tasting.

1. The experience is a tasting of three premium tequilas (white, reposado, añejo or extra añejo); and a premium mezcal renowned as one of the finest on the market. These spirits are paired with Mexican snacks.

2. The program lasts for approximately one hour and 20 minutes.

3. The tequila and mezcal labels for the tasting were chosen for two reasons. They are the most representative in their categories; and they are readily available abroad.

4. The tequilas and mezcal are paired with different Mexican snacks, which have been chosen as ideal matches for each of the selected labels. The offerings include: tostaditas de cochinita pibil, pumpkin flower patty with cheese; potato soup with chorizo; and homemade chocolate or bitter cocoa for dessert. Worm salt, sea salt, tajin and citrus are also used as accompaniments.

5. Outside the format of a conventional tasting, where the properties of each spirit are discussed, other topics are explored, such as the rising international demand for tequila and mezcal, how to recognize a good tequila or mezcal label, and tips on avoiding a hangover.

6. The experience costs $40 USD per person. The price may vary; please check with the Q Life staff.

7. The tasting takes place every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Refresca Tequila Bar in Siempre at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort.

8. Reservations are recommended a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Bookings can be made via email through the Q Life staff: qlifereservations@quiviraloscabos.com

9. The minimum age to enjoy this experience is 18 years old.

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